Many of you who read this post are aware that I have been pregnant twice, the first time with a daughter. At 20 weeks along in November of 2003 we looked forward to our Monday ultrasound appointment that would tell us whether we were expecting a girl or a boy.
The Wednesday before that appointment I received a call deep in the night that the infant grandson of members of the congregation was rushed to the hospital. His father who grew up in the church was away on business and the mother after placing her son in his bassinet did what all new mothers are encouraged to do... she laid down to get some rest. When she got up not twenty minutes later her baby boy was blue.
CPR. 911. It was all for naught.
He was 13 days old.
Calls were made and services were arranged. It was decided that he would be buried in the the church's cemetary and the service would be on Monday, the same day as our ultrasound appointment.
It didn't take me long to figure out that I would have a hard time presiding over a service with such a tiny casket while being pregnant myself. I couldn't imagine reconciling those images and my heartfelt grief for this young couple with the images I assumed we would see on the screen of a healthy boy or girl of our own. So I changed the ultrasound appointment to the following week.
Hindsight tells us that if I had gone to that appointment I probably would not have been able to officiate at the service having learned that the child I carried was also deceased.
We are all grown ups. We know that in life we rarely get a true happy ending and that is the case here. We have been blessed with a beautiful son and yet there is a part of our hearts that will never recover. The ripples from the SIDS death I described above keep on going as the couple has since divorced and the grandparents no longer come to the church with one of the reasons I think being that seeing that headstone every Sunday is just too hard.
In the meantime The Boy has found a new place that he likes to play... and talk as if to someone... and leave his toys. Eery is not quite the word because it is not as sinister as that. Comforting is not quite the word because there is no true comfort in tragedy such as this.
They say a picture speaks 1000 words and I guess somewhere in there is the right one, but I am not sure what it is...